Settling In Ch. 02bywriterjames©
Authors Note: This chapter will be written from the point of view of Grey. I'm going to be exploring a little bit of his background and will be switching back to Noah's in the next chapter, and vice versa throughout the rest of this story. I hope you all enjoy chapter two, and please feel free to continue sending feedback, it truly helps a lot! Thank you so much for reading!
Chapter Two: Reflection
Noah was a few paces in front of me, the shy and adorable nineteen-year-old that I now called my roommate stepping over a muddy area of the trail. The shape of his ass was apparent in his jeans, and I subtly adjusted the large lump growing down the right side of my leg before letting out a frustrated sigh.
As much as I tried to shut that part of my memory off, I couldn't help but be reminded of him when I looked at Noah.
I had hooked up with plenty of girls throughout my life. Though the crushing guilt I felt eventually became far too much, especially when a few months in, I would sit them down and let them know that it wasn't going to work out. I could see the hurt in their eyes, so I truly tried with some, but in the end the relationships all ended the same. Which typically resulted in me feeling like a complete piece of shit.
So, I eventually just stopped trying.
It wasn't until the end of my first semester of senior year when something changed. Although, coming from a conservative high school in Texas, I should have been able to figure out that the situation was always fucked to begin with.
One Year Earlier
"Hey, Greyson. Nice play at the game last week."
I watched from my side as the short, fresh-faced guy set down his things in front of his locker and nodded towards me. I'd never spoken to him before, but I had recognized him from the basketball team.
"Thought I was the only one in here. And uh, thanks."
Football practice had been over for nearly thirty minutes, and I typically took my time in the shower. He let go of a small laugh, shrugging his shoulders.
I had heard the rumors about him last year, and I started to feel a pit in my stomach at the thought of him waiting for the locker room to clear out before feeling comfortable to change.
"Nice to meet you." I flashed him a genuine smile.
Apparently last year a video of him surfaced online, involving him and another guy from our opposing school. When it happened, I didn't care, as it was none of my business and I already had my own issues to worry about. But people talked about it for weeks, and the whole thing seemed like a giant, unfair mess that he didn't deserve.
When I finished changing, I walked out of the locker room, realizing Gabe had been waiting for me the entire time. He was leaning against the gym wall, clutching a chemistry book in his hands and standing by the large double doors. That's when I really saw him. He had cream colored hair that was still a little damp from the shower, and flushed rosy cheeks. Height wise, he barely reached my shoulders. I noticed his full lips always seemed to be pulled together into a smile, which brought out an adorable dimple on the left side of his cheek.
I instantly felt an anger thinking about the kind of asshole it took to post something like that, just to hurt and humiliate someone as sweet as Gabe.
"Hey, thanks. You didn't have to wait for me."
"It's no big deal."
We walked towards the exit together, exchanging small talk about final exams, our coaches, and things in between. When we eventually got to the parking lot, he told me that he didn't have a car and was walking home. I looked at his athletic shorts and frowned. It was Texas, but it still didn't change the fact that the air felt uncomfortably frosty in December.
"Let me give you a ride. You know. If you want."
He looked around, nervously fumbling with the straps of his backpack, before turning back towards me.
"Are you sure? I don't want you to have to go out of your way."
We walked towards my truck, which was a used black ford that my dad had handed down to me when he got his new one last year. Gabe climbed into the large seat, and we sat for a while, listening to music and letting the car warm up.
"I heard some of the guys earlier talking about a surprise party that the football team threw you. How did that end up turning out?"
His voice was soft, but it sounded like he genuinely wondered. I thought about my nineteenth birthday that took place last Friday. Condom balloons, an abundance of alcohol, and blaring loud music. Realizing just how obnoxious it actually was, I shrugged.
"It wasn't all that."
"What? You mean to tell me testosterone crazed athletes coming together to indulge in liquor and behave ridiculously stupid wasn't the single best night of your life? I'm shocked."
I turned towards him, furrowing my brows. He didn't say it to be mean, but I couldn't help but be amused at his witty sarcasm. Soon enough, we both were in a fit of laughter.
"In all seriousness, happy late birthday."
"Thanks Gabe. Maybe next time I'll have to invite you to the wildness."
He smirked and rolled his eyes as I pulled out of the mostly empty lot. As I drove, I could sense Gabe sneaking glances at me on more than one occasion. He was mouthing the lyrics to a few of the songs on the radio and giving me directions all in between. About ten minutes later, he turned the music down and we pulled into his neighborhood. When we got up to his house, the driveway was bare and he cleared his throat.
"My parents don't get home until like 8. Do you wanna hang out?"
"I was actually kind of dreading going home and having to study for that physics final, so sure."
We chuckled before getting out of my truck, and I walked the path of a very large house. Gabe reached for his keys, opening the door and the smell of cinnamon immediately brushed across my face. The inside was just as ridiculously nice as the outside. Dark wood sprawled across the floors, expensive furniture, and an obvious good eye for decorating.
His room was fairly normal sized, and was stained a cold and dark blue that oddly felt comforting. It was dimly lit, and he had artsy polaroid pictures hanging on the walls above his full bed, which was covered in a comfy black comforter. His room was mostly muted shades of black and white, and felt very unique to his personality. I noticed the expensive camera on the nightstand next to his bed and turned to him.
"Holy shit. Wait a second. Are these all your pictures?!"
He gave a slight, shy nod.
"I had a rough time last year, so I sort of just got lost in photography. It was a distraction at the time, but now, I'm kind of addicted."
"Damn. You have some serious talent."
He returned my gaze with a large smile.
"Thanks, that means a lot. Maybe one day I'll just have to photograph you."
He eventually led me to his bed and we sat on the comfy mattress and aimlessly watched a comedy on his laptop and occasionally tapped at our phones.
When he hopped off the bed to use the restroom, I felt myself stir as I saw the outline of his jockstrap and plump ass cheeks sitting on the thin material of his basketball shorts.
As he returned, his line of sight went directly below my waistband and I followed his eyes to find an obscene bulge pushing through the fabric of my sweatpants. I looked at him with lust in my eyes, and he sat nervously, but didn't move his eyes away from mine.
"Sorry about that." I let the words fall out of my mouth, but it came out in a low murmur. He moved closer to my position on the couch and cautiously reached his right hand towards my package.
He rubbed through the cotton, and I felt myself grow inside of my now very-tight boxers.
"Have you ever kissed a guy before?"
"No." I answered truthfully and he leaned in, gently placing his other hand under the back of my shirt and started massaging at my muscles. He was still using his other to rub and grope at the hardness under my pants, and I couldn't help but let out a soft moan that seemed to echo in his room.
I could see the eagerness in his eyes, and electricity shot through my veins. I wasn't sure if I've ever felt my heart pound so fast.
I noticed light freckles that danced across his face, and for a moment I wondered how I never noticed them until now.
I instantly had a desire to know so much more about Gabe and his life.
Leaning in, my lips met with the softness of his. The warmth of his mouth sent a rush through my body that traveled directly south. I ran my hands through his hair, losing myself in the intoxicating taste of his peppermint scented breath. When he finally pulled away, he was taking short gasps and pulled my shirt above my head. He pushed himself off the bed, sitting on his knees in front of me and his soft eyes met my own.
"Gabe, wait. I've never been with a guy."
When the waistband of my boxers slid down my knees, he licked his lips at the sight in front of him. I had always known from my early days in the locker room that I was lucky in the size of my endowment, coming in at around eight or nine solid inches. He grabbed the bottom with his hand, taking in the thickness with ambitious eyes and slapping the head lightly across the wetness of his tongue.
He quickly earned another moan from me with that little stunt, and I watched as he gave it a few hard strokes, before guiding my cut cock into his hungry mouth. The heat of his breath was enough to send me into overdrive, and I swore I was starting to see tiny little stars flash across my vision. I bucked my hips upward, sliding it in and out of his soft lips as he sucked gently and swirled his tongue around the length of my shaft.
Gabe slurped up and down, and increased his pace when my breathing started to intensify. I parted my lips to warn him, but he just kept sucking, pushing himself as far as he could muster. He sunk all the way to the base and held deep, and I began shooting copious amounts of cum down the back of his throat, the air filled with my loud, primitive groans.
My cock was throbbing, and I could feel his tongue licking at the bottom of my shaft as he continued to suck and swallow the remainder of my orgasm. With flushed cheeks, he pulled off with an audible pop, before smirking at me abashedly and licking at his slightly swollen lips.
He began rubbing the inside of my thighs softly with the palm of his hands.
"How was that?"
I answered his question by leaning down to kiss him, still able to taste traces of myself on his mouth.
My breathing was heavy as I fought to catch my breath. I was absolutely spent. He pulled up my underwear and wrapped his arms around my stomach, pecking lightly at my neck before laying his head on my chest. We embraced and eventually fell asleep together, happily exhausted.
That was the beginning of our relationship, and it went on like that for about six months. We went on dates, had sex almost every single time we were together, and genuinely cared for and looked out for one another. In short -- we were falling in love. It only took a careless mistake to cause pretty much everything great to spiral and start going downhill fast.
"Stop, you know my dad is home."
I pulled off of his lips with a quiet whisper, the spontaneous kiss doing little to ease my nerves as we sat in my small kitchen. We were supposed to be studying for end of year exams, and we switched things up and went to my house for the first time in weeks. My dad is an auto tech, and was usually home on the weekends. This was unfortunately no exception.
He sat in the next room over, a beer in his hand and the football game blaring through the television screen.
My dad had met him a few times over the summer, but he was completely blind to the extent of how close we really were. To him, Gabe was just a teammate that I befriended earlier this year who occasionally came over to study and hangout.
I watched as the countdown on the screen got lower, and the screen started to snap a set of pictures through the webcam. Gabe laughed mischievously, proud of his short-lived accomplishment of opening photo booth on my laptop when I wasn't looking.
I gave in, sticking out my tongue in one, smiling in the next, and finally pressing my lips quickly to his in the last.
The hours had passed by quickly, and Gabe begrudgingly got up to walk to the front door. He said goodbye to my dad, and I followed him outside.
"I'll call you later, and I promise I'll make up for any loss time studying sometime next week."
"See you later Grey." I returned his smile, before waving towards the car as he got in with reluctance.
When I entered the house, my dad was no longer sitting in his typical spot on the couch. I didn't think much of it, until I turned for the kitchen and was greeted by the anger in his eyes as he looked up from the laptop. My stomach was in knots, and he turned the screen to reveal the picture I already knew he was looking at. Gabe's brown eyes stared back at me through the screen and it felt like it'd already been ages since I'd last seen him.
"Dad, I can explain."
"I don't even want to hear it Greyson."
"We were just messing around. Gabe has a... weird sense of humor."
"Don't you dare start lying. You've clearly already done enough of that as it is."
He spoke each word as if it might be his last, and took a deep and controlled breath before firmly closing the laptop shut.
"You can go upstairs, grab your things and leave without ever looking back. Or, you can promise me that you won't leave this conversation speaking to that boy ever again. And we can pretend this never happened."
I looked up at him with hurt eyes, a lump growing in my throat. Shifting my weight uncomfortably on my feet, I thought realistically. I had no place to go. Gabe wasn't out either, and the last thing I wanted was to cause this same thing for him by showing up at his house looking for a place to stay tonight. I also knew that this might really mess things up for some of the colleges I was accepted into.
His voice was menacing and stern when he spoke, just barely below a shout.
"I won't see or talk to him again. Are you happy now?"
"You don't see it now, but I'm doing this for your own good. I refuse to have you go through this world being judged and ridiculed for something so -- I raised you better than that!"
I ignored his hateful words, running up the stairs and slamming the door hard behind me.
He contacted Gabe's parents the next day and told them he didn't want their son anywhere near our house anymore. They were confused and insulted, but he hung up the phone before they could press the issue further.
We snuck and saw each a few times over the course of the year, cherishing even the littlest of moments together outside of our closeminded school. When Gabe came out to his parents at the beginning of June, I could tell he started to resent having to hide our relationship. I called him as soon as I got his text message, telling him how happy I was for him.
"You came out, are you kidding? That's amazing Gabe."
"Yeah, it should be. I just wish this feeling of being a shameful secret wasn't still hanging over my head."
Our conversations got worse, and were extremely passive aggressive. Whether he wanted to admit it or not, he was angry with me. Anger that I wouldn't stand up to my dad and be who I really was, but at the possible cost of risking everything. He didn't understand that though, no matter how many times I tried to explain it.
I didn't really blame him.
I blamed the shitty situation.
The fighting came soon after, and when he found out I was going off to college in Washington, he called me a coward for 'running away from my problems once again' and hung up on me.
He stopped answering my phone calls and text messages altogether shortly after.
It was one of the last days of summer, the scorching hot day a reminder of what I'd be missing when I left the lone star state in less than a month. I was at the state fair with some of my friends, and my heart dropped. There he was. Standing in the shade, holding a funnel cake, and a bright smile on his face. It took me a moment to realize his hands were interlocked with someone else's, but when I did, it felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.
I waved in his direction, and he gazed towards me with shock that quickly turned into sadness. The look in his eyes was painful. I don't know what I even expected. That maybe everything would go back to normal and we'd embrace, running into each other's arms like they do in the movies. But we didn't. And he turned away, continuing with the handsome boy as if he'd never even seen me standing there.
I texted him later that day, but he didn't respond.
It broke my heart. And it was the last I ever saw of Gabe.
I was quickly brought back to reality as Noah and I walked towards the crowd of people, taking empty seats a few feet away from the massive bonfire. The sky was a deep mahogany, the sunset just barely reflecting across the large lake.
The rain had stopped much earlier, but the cool September air still smelt of fresh earth and moisture, a welcome change from what I was used to in Texas.
"A bonfire? Without marshmallows? They're kidding right?"
I turned to an amused Noah, who got up from his seat to grab us a few beers. The crowd was mixed with a variety of different people. Some older, but mostly around our age.
There were a couple guys from the football team, as I had noticed a few faces from boot camp a few months ago.
One of the guys, Diego Rivera, lifted his bottle in the air and nodded towards me. He was one of the very first people I spoke to here, and happened to be the quarterback. Saying he was intimidatingly huge was an understatement. Sprawled across at least two hundred pounds of pure muscle, the guy was a tank. He had sleeves of tattoos that traveled up the lengths of his massive arms, and his dark, olive skin seemed to glow next to the flames of the bonfire.
Overall though, he seemed to have the personality of a giant teddy bear.
I returned his greeting with a wave and a smile.
"Here you go, big guy."
Noah handed me the cold beer, clutching onto his own in the other hand. I watched as he sat next to me, not-so-subtlety pulling his chair a little closer to mine when he did.
"That guy on the team too?"
His gaze turned towards Diego, who was now dancing badly to the music blaring loudly throughout the sky.
"Yeah, how'd you know?"
"There's no way someone is that enormous and doesn't play some kind of head on sport with the goal of tackling people." I accepted his answer with a short snicker.
We spoke about the classes we were taking this semester, and I learned that he was really into painting and was looking to major in art. I felt awe watching him speak about his craft, bold blue eyes that lit up with passion at almost every word.
Abruptly, we were interrupted by the glare of a brunette girl who stood over us, almost impatiently. She wore an oversized denim jacket over a tight black dress, and her quiet friend almost stood behind her like a shadow. Her expression was dry, but the tone of her voice almost came off flirtatious. She finally smiled, asserting her presence with the smell of overpowering perfume.
"I'm Sophie, and this is my roommate Lauren. We're freshmen, and I couldn't help but realize that I didn't see you at orientation over the summer. Are you an upperclassman?"
I pretended to ignore the fact that she most likely wouldn't have recognized me even if I had gone, as there were probably hundreds upon hundreds of new students attending. She addressed me as if Noah wasn't sitting right next to me, and I took a long swig of my beer before answering her.